Art Basel Hong Kong? - Art Collector

9 May 2011 | The owners of the Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach art fairs have purchased Art HK, the Hong Kong International Art Fair.

MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel), a MCH Group company and organiser of Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach, has signed a purchase agreement with Asian Art Fairs, the owners of ART HK. As of 1 July 2011, MCH Group will take a majority ownership stake in Asian Art Fairs.

Commenting on the purchase, René Kamm, CEO of the MCH Group acknowledged the growing Asian market. “As the organiser of Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach – the two most important art shows worldwide – we have every interest in a strong presence in Asia.”

At this stage it’s still business as usual for Art HK, which will take place as scheduled from 26 to 29 May 2011.

Next year, however, it will be moved to February to so that it doesn’t conflict with Art Basel, which takes place in June, and Art Basel Miami Beach, which takes place in December.

The 2012 fair will still run under the Art HK banner with Magnus Renfrew at the helm, but it is expected the name will change after that as the fair is integrated into the Art Basel brand.

Further details about the 2012 fair will be announced as they are decided but no doubt the biggest question collectors and gallerists will have is how the change of ownership will affect the exhibitor selection process – and thus quality. Art Basel is known for it’s stringent selection process but also for being somewhat eurocentric, suggesting that the retention of key Art HK staff will be central to the fair’s ongoing success.


Jane O'Sullivan


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